Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 05, 2010

From: Lubbock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Does non-native mimosa tree have a tap root from Lubbock TX?
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Does a mimosa tree have a tap root? I would like to plant one next to a concrete driveway to help shade the garage and do not want to cause damage to the driveway in the future. Thank you in advance for your expertise.

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the areas in which those plants are being grown. Albizia julibrissin, Mimosa or Silk Tree, is native to China and therefore out of our range of expertise. Read this article from the Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group LEAST WANTED on the Mimosa or Silk Tree to learn why we do not recommend it, regardless of what kind of root it has.

You might also be interested in reading this Dave's Garden Forum page on Albizia julibrissin, especially the MANY negative comments. 

There are few trees with a true taproot; they may begin with one, but as time goes by roots will spread from that center root, both in search of water and nutrients and also as a base to stabilize the tree in the ground. From this USDA Forest Service site Mimosa, we extracted these two sentences apropos of your question:

"Breakage: susceptible to breakage either at the crotch due to poor collar formation, or the wood itself is weak and tends to break."

"Roots: surface roots can lift sidewalks or interfere with mowing."

Honestly, most trees will interfere with foundations, sidewalks or driveways if planted too close, regardless of the type of root. Do your research on trees native to your area by going to our Recommended Species, clicking on Texas High Plains on the map, and Narrow Your Search to trees, and indicate the amount of light needed, moisture, etc.  You can follow the plant links to the page on each tree to learn the projected size of that tree. Generally speaking, a tree root system can be from 2 to 4 times the size of the crown of the tree, so consider that when you decide where to plant a tree. 

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native Chinese Pistache tree with dead branches in Georgetown TX
April 08, 2010 - Have mature Chinese Pistachio tree with many dead branches and few buds forming so far this spring - has been beautiful for many years. Do you know why this is happening and what can be done about it...
view the full question and answer

Can non-native Epiphyllum (Orchid Cactus) be grown in Round Rock, Texas?
July 01, 2014 - Can the Epiphyllum (Orchid Cactus) be grown in the Round Rock Texas area or is this area too hot for it?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native artichoke from El Paso, TX
May 25, 2014 - I have a five year old artichoke plant in the ground that gets sun and some shade, has plenty of fertilizer and compost. Gets enough water. It has been beautiful in years past and last year had 10 a...
view the full question and answer

Type of clumping bamboo for outdoor planters from Plano TX
March 25, 2014 - What type of clumping bamboo can be grown outdoors in planters in Dallas,TX?
view the full question and answer

Competition for sun between non-native loquat and Carolina laurel cherry in San Antonio
October 27, 2010 - I have planted 2 Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry)along my north side fence. I just learned my neighbor has planted a Loquat tree on the other side of the north facing fence. He told me that...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.